PubCrawl Podcast: So You’ve Published a Book—Now What?

So what is life like after your first book comes out, or as Kelly would say, when you’re no longer the baby of the family? This week JJ and Kelly talk about expectations and the things that change in your life once you become published. As per usual, they are On Brand with some downer talk, but hey, you love listening to us for this, right? …right? Also, be prepared for so much discussion of the Dragon Age video games. Lots of games, actually!

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Show Notes

  • JJ wrote a post about writing under contract a while back
  • One of the hardest things to accept about being published is just how much is beyond your control
    • A previous podcast episode about what defines “success”
    • They say you shouldn’t write to the market, and that remains true. HOWEVER. Now you must be COGNIZANT of market conditions, which involves different judgment calls.
  • We’ve said this before, but let us reiterate: it is absolutely CRUCIAL to have an intimate circle of trusted writer friends with whom you can be absolutely honest.
  • Often finding another creative pursuit to call a hobby helps cope with the stress of having turned your hobby into a job. For JJ, that was taking up photography again. Finding something that brings you joy and brings only you joy is helpful for balance.

What We’re Working On

  • Kelly just got from vacation and is getting back into the groove of things
  • JJ is working on the first book in her next series

What We’re Reading

Off Menu Recommendations

  • Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm
  • Animal Crossing
  • 2048
  • Oxenfree
  • Mario Bros. for the phone
  • Reigns
  • Asheville Pinball Museum

What You’re Asking

How many queries should I send before considering giving up?
—EmilyHoka

Oof. This is a tough one to answer, and it all depends on your personal situation. There is no magic number for people. So much of querying is dependent on personal taste, and honestly? Query until the well runs dry. HOWEVER, if you’re getting the same response, then perhaps it’s your query and not your project. Again, there is no hard and fast rule.

What does it take to be an agent?

Short answer: Not much, as long as you have connections to publishing houses and acquiring editors. Long answer: Building said connections takes time and exposure. Most of this experience comes from working for an agent as an intern or assistant and building up your list of contacts. Honestly, because agenting doesn’t have a course or professional certification, it is a hands-on business. It’s not the type of job you can just decide to do one day. Like any other job, if you want to become an agent, you need equivalent experience: editorial, book marketing, book publicity, bookselling, etc. It’s like any other field: experience matters. It’s getting your foot in the door that’s the hardest part.

What You’re Saying

★★★★★
Supportive (&honest!) writing…
—Storyfish

I found this podcast six months ago, must as I was finishing the rewrite of a novel manuscript. I was hoping to transition from closet writer to career writer, but needed to know more about my next steps and the publishing industry. JJ and Kelly delivered in spades. With their funny, brutally honest, and supportive banter, these writing and publishing industry mavens became my commute BFFs. I learned how to writer query letters with confidence, and how to create a strong submission strategy. Thanks, PubCrawl for your insider advice and recommendations!

“Brutally honest” should be our tagline, to be honest. 😂

That’s all for this week! Next week we will be starting another series called Crafting Characters in which delve into the mechanics of HOW to write compelling characters. So as always if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below, send us an ask on Tumblr, or tweet using the hashtag #askpubcrawl!

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